When should I file a complaint to the City about no heat or no air conditioning?

You should file a complaint to the City if your landlord has turned the air conditioning on too early or if it’s not on by June 1. You should also file a complaint if they have not turned your heat on by the time temperatures have started to drop in the fall. 

Most newer buildings have mechanical equipment that requires a lead time to switch over between heating and air conditioning. Contractors usually need to be scheduled ahead of time and systems sometimes require a period between turning off the heat and turning on the air conditioning. Practically, this means that most buildings cannot turn the heat or air conditioning on or off at short notice, and will only do the switch once a year. 

Due to climate change, May may experience warmer temperatures, which might lead landlords to activate air conditioning before June 1 to enhance tenant comfort. However, cooler weather could still occur, potentially dropping temperatures below 21°C and potentially violating City bylaws, even briefly.

Similarly, warmer weather might persist beyond September 16, leading landlords to maintain air conditioning to keep tenants' units cool. However, if temperatures drop, units may fall below 21°C, also potentially violating City bylaws, even for a short time.

Consider whether filing a complaint to the City is appropriate in either scenario; violations may lead to investigations and potential charges. Sudden temperature shifts can be challenging for landlords to address quickly, so complaints could lead them to stick strictly to heating guidelines between September 15 and June 1, regardless of unseasonably warm weather. Although this may align with City bylaws, it could result in uncomfortable temperatures for you and other tenants. 

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